Tutor Icon  Request A Tutor

Speaking In Front Of People – how to survive an audience or interview panel

Standing up in front of people to speak off the cuff, being in an interview situation, or make a speech is one of the most common fears. It affects people with all levels of experience in any number of situations. The Graduate interviewing for their first job, the nervous bridegroom, the CEO or Director, the young person at school in a debating session, can all feel the pressure when there is an element of PERFORMANCE. It’s important to remember that even trained and experienced Actors get nervous and feel the adrenalin pumping. They can also suffer stage fright just like everyone else. Blanking out, sweating, going red, stuttering, rushing what you are saying just to get it over with are some of the symptoms of performance nerves.

Here are some simple ideas to take on board if you are in front of any kind of ‘audience’.

• The most important thing to remember when getting up in front of an audience or going to an interview is that NO ONE WANTS YOU TO FAIL. Listeners are prepared and happy to be engaged and to listen to what you are hoping to communicate. Having been in the position of interviewing many people for all sorts of positions, I know that when you meet a candidate you want them to be right for the job. You feel positive about meeting that person otherwise you wouldn’t be inviting them for an interview. It’s the same when people listen to a speech. They are on your side.

• Remember that you only need to be yourself. YOU ARE ENOUGH. This is a deceptively simply statement. Yes, it’s hard to relax, to not try too hard, to remain focussed and present in the moment. However, as human beings we are drawn to people who are AUTHENTIC and share themselves warts and all. We want to see people who are ok in their own skin. This doesn’t mean ‘perfect’. And what does ‘perfect’ mean anyway? Don’t think you need to be anyone else but you.

• Breathe. Try this simple exercise when you are feeling nervous. Say a few lines of anything. Use something you know well. As you speak and without doing anything new or different just NOTICE where you are breathing from. Often, inexperienced and nervous speakers will be breathing too high. In other words, when breathing in they will be getting their breath from the chest and not from the diaphragm. Place your hand on your diaphragm which is the area above your stomach and just below your sternum bone, located in the V shaped space between your ribs at the front. To feel where it is just say ‘Ha, Ha, Ha’ a few times and you will feel the powerful muscle which is the diaphragm pulsing as it pushes out breath. The louder you say it the larger the movement of the diaphragm. Breathe from what is your centre and you will automatically feel calmer. Added to this your voice will also have more resonance and power without even trying.

• Take your TIME. Don’t worry if when you begin speaking at the right pace, you feel you are going too slowly and boring people. The opposite is true. Audiences like to be drawn in and this takes longer than you might imagine. If you rush, an audience loses confidence and can drift off. Not rushing through makes it easier for you to keep up with yourself and what you are saying. When in doubt always go slower than you think you need to. Concentrate on what you want to get across rather than whether you are impressing people you will automatically pace yourself well.

•Don’t WORRY about being funny or interesting. Don’t WORRY if you fluff some words. If you speak with conviction and passion you will be compelling. People will be drawn in to what you are saying and they will relax. As human beings we are programmed to pick up the smallest signs that might tell us if someone is not being truthful or is trying to hide something. When we try too hard we come across as not being ourselves and it has the effect of making us appear more and not less unsure and convincing.

Before it’s your turn to get up in front of the audience or speak in front of an interview panel take a 5 minute break. Find somewhere quiet if you can. The toilet is fine…or waiting on the train platform! Even without a quiet place this effective exercise can be done anywhere and no one will even know you are doing it. It’s a great secret weapon against nerves and loss of focus due to stress.

Stand or sit, it doesn’t matter. Firstly, all you need to do is focus on one thing you notice in front of you. It can be anything. ‘I notice that rain puddle’ or ‘I notice the black car going past’ or ‘I notice the sky is blue’. Just notice something simple that you can easily see. Don’t think too hard, just notice it and say to yourself either in your head or out loud if you want to ‘I notice….’ Then do the same again but this time focus on yourself. Now focus on something physical that you notice about yourself like ‘I notice my left hand keeps twitching’ or ‘I notice I am breathing fast’. Just go from the outside world to your own physical world. You can do this for as long or as short a time as you want. That’s why it’s such a useful little tool. I guarantee that you will automatically start to centre yourself, stop the head spin and breathe more calmly. You won’t have to try to do it, it will just happen as a result of quietly focussing on the outer and the inner. Try it and if it works keep it stored in your pocket to use anytime you feel you need to calm yourself or to prepare for any situation you are feeling apprehensive about.

LETS STUDY FOR YOUR EXAM TOGETHER

 
Melodie Argi
Melodie Argi
08:14 18 Oct 19
Tavistock tutors is by far the best tutor agency is London. The tutor selection is of the highest quality. Handpicked from the British intellectual elite in all sorts of disciplines. The staff is wonderfully helpful as well as being extremely attentive to feedback.read more
Henry Smith
Henry Smith
22:27 17 Oct 19
I have been employed as a tutor with Tavistock Tutors for over 5 years. I tutor mathematics and also help people with job preparation for different career routes (cv, cover letter, interview preparation and online test prep). They are simply a wonderful team of individuals who work collectively and strive to deliver the best possible service to both clients and their tutors. They work doggedly to achieve results. They are particularly honest and their feedback to tutors on how to improve is tailored, concise and always highly constructive. Even after 5 yrs, they only put me forward as a tutor if they think I am the absolute best they can find otherwise they are honest with me and explain why I was not put forward. I think this transparency is a huge reason for their success and keeps the best tutors on their books for years. Their communication on what a client wants is also clinically precise and effective and the team go out of their way to provide potential interests/passions of the client to help the tutor prepare accordingly for the lessons and nurture that interaction. Simply the finest agency and I have tutored with some of the best. World-class tutors and utmost confidentiality with respect to their clientele. I cannot be happier to work for them, a dream job with a team whose capacity for kindness, empathy and boundless intellect never ceases to amaze me. Their work ethic inspires me to relentlessly push myself to be a better tutor with their encouragement and constructive feedback.read more
Albert Tam
Albert Tam
20:50 17 Oct 19
Best tutors in London! Great experience and amazing customer service. Highly recommend, my tutors were all fantastic and a huge help. Really recommend Tavistock Tutors as I never had to worry about not getting the highest quality tutors unlike other agencies and online tutors.read more
I ME
I ME
16:13 17 Oct 19
I’ve used Tavistock multiple times and they never disappoint! I used them for myself secondary school, whilst at university and even now whilst working. Their service is second to none as are their tutors. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves academically or personally.read more
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
STAVROS MOUSLOPOULOS
13:22 06 Oct 19
Why most reviewers have one contribution, namely to the Tavistock Tutors? High standards ? Mate get a real job rather than living off other's qualifications. Reality Check (See photos attached - that is the owner “looking for me” 1.5 years after leaving London and while my name and photo was on first page of Tavistock Tutor website...)read more
Jonathan Aaron
Jonathan Aaron
16:39 01 Aug 19
Amazing experience, the tutor was reliable, knowledgeable and reasonably priced and the company was both professional and reliable. Definitely will be using them again!read more
David T
David T
16:34 01 Aug 19
I used Tavistock for some Corporate Finance and Financial Modelling training at my firm. They were extremely helpful and the trainer, Simon, was of top quality, experience and charged a fair price. Thank you!read more
Olivia Pluss
Olivia Pluss
11:05 13 Jun 19
I had a fantastic experience with my tutor Elena and Tavistock Tutors. They were very well organized and made the entire experience so seamless and easy for me. I passed my assignment with great marks and the experience was much less stressful than if I had tried to complete the assignment without Elena's help.read more
J Mathews
J Mathews
11:27 22 May 19
My child used Glenda for HL biology. Glenda was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend her. Extremely intelligent, always prepared, knows how to teach/very helpful, and also just a nice person. Also, I would use Tavistock again for sure because we had such success with Glenda.read more
Alan Radford
Alan Radford
09:34 09 May 19
Tavistock Tutors were a delight to deal with, and highly professional at all times. They provided my daughter with an excellent tutor at very short notice - after my having approached them on a Thursday urgently requesting a tutor for that weekend. Tavistock Tutors immediately gave the matter their attention; they appreciated the urgency and responded quickly and efficiently, and helped to set my daughter up with exactly the right sort of tutor. Fantastic!read more
Sophie Taieb
Sophie Taieb
12:55 29 Mar 19
Very happy with Tavistock tutors services. They provide a wide range of tutors, from all backgrounds and for all types of needs. My uni son needed some help in research and methodology. We found a perfectly suited tutor in less than 3 days. He is very knowledgeable, punctual, open minded and brings the support needed to my son. I would definitely recommend Tavistock tutorsread more
Next Reviews
 

How to memorise quotes – (great for closed book exams!)

Memorising quotes can be a crucial element to your GCSE and A-level exams, so mastering the skill can be essential. Being able to use quotes in your written responses is a sure way to get marks fo...

How to choose quotes to learn for English GCSE

We know that learning quotes for a closed-book exam can be daunting, difficult and boring – especially when you’ve already been studying the text for an entire year. In our article ‘Do I need ...

Do I need to memorise quotes for English GCSE?

With the new GCSE specifications released in 2015, most English Literature GCSE exams have now become closed-book exams.

But what does this mean?

This means that in your exam, you won...

Call Now Button